Romans 12:1-2

So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2

Sunday, June 30, 2013

7 Things I Learned in June

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.   
Anthony J. D'Angelo 

Emily, at Chatting at the Sky, has invited us to share what we have learned during the month of June.  So here goes (I just love random ramblings!!)

7 Things I Learned In June

1.  I love summer!  I rarely say this.  I've never been that fond of summer - I'm more of a fan of fall.  This summer though, it hasn't really been that hot (yet).  We've gone places, but we've been home a lot too and I've enjoyed the ordinariness of doing things around the house.  I've enjoyed doing a lot of nothing and only what I want.  I've also enjoyed cooking (some).  PT (Prior to Teaching) I spent a lot of time menu planning, preparing and cooking.  During the school year, that just doesn't fly!
One of my family's favorites is this sausage and broccoli bake.  It's a Weight Watcher recipe, but I un-WW it because I don't use turkey sausage.  I think when I figured out the points it wasn't that different and I really can't stand food that tries to act like other food (i.e turkey acting like sausage or worse, beef!)
2.  My kids really are too old for some things.  I've seen this coming for a while now.  It became more apparent when I took my oldest, M (age 14) and a friend to a creek with friends to swim, jump off the falls and picnic.  The falls weren't as high as fourteen year old boys (at least mine) would like.  I had a lot of fun anyway! And no, I never jumped. Said boys did accompany me to the Dayspring Outlet in Siloam Springs right after the creek time.  So THAT is impressive!

3.  There is something (good) to be said of children getting older.  I learned that dead animals of any kind make me squeal (I already knew I would jump on the couch for live mice, etc.).  When the dog brought a bunny in (I'm sure she found the bunny unresponsive and after unsuccessfully attempting mouth to mouth was bringing it to see if we could help.) it was really nice insisting my fourteen year old son handle it (his Dad was gone at Scout camp) since it was after all, his duty.

4.  I learned that I stay up waaaay too late when Hubby is gone.  I already knew I slept with the bathroom light on if he's not home, but 2 am is way too late for me to stay up (I'm one who requires sufficient beauty rest!) reading.  Once I do turn the light off I sleep horribly too.

5.  June was conference time!  I went to a four day one and an afternoon one so I learned many new classroom ideas - way too many to write about.  I'll just mention a couple - I learned that Dr. Seuss books contain a high amount of Dolch words.  So having a student read a book to you is way more exciting than reading a list of words!!  I also learned to take existing games (Twister, Jenga, Candyland) and make them in to sight word (or letters for early years) practice games.

I can't wait to figure out which grade I'm teaching so I can start working on some games!!

6.  I finally found a study at church that works for me to attend!  I've been going to Beth Moore's lecture series "The Law of Love".  It's so beautiful to see the fulfillment of the law in Christ (I love to see the fulfillment of Jewish customs in Christ too).  Our Promised Land is Christ Himself.  Every part of my listening guide is covered in my writing and each time I reread it to try to write something down I've learned, I just get overwhelmed that I couldn't possibly write everything down!!

7.  I also learned every time L. and I get a chance to go eat together we usually choose barbecue!  He doesn't like Chic-fil-a and I don't like sushi, so that's what we agree on.  Also, M. doesn't usually choose it because he doesn't like to SMELL like barbecue when we leave!  L. and I were in "the city" doing errands a couple of weeks ago and we ended up at an old favorite and last night when it was just the two of us for dinner, a different BBQ place was our choice.

Thanks, Emily, for the encouragement to write.

I'm looking ahead to July - Beach vacation and to August - I will kick getting ready for school into high gear!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Our Backyard

When I was looking for pictures for "Flashback", I found one of our Butterfly Bush in Albuquerque.  I was so excited a couple of summers ago to plant one in our backyard.  I was even more excited to see how nicely it had grown this year!

I went out to take take pictures of the bush and took a few more.  While photographing I had some deep contemplative thoughts to blog - but now I can't remember what I wanted to say!

I thought it would be nice to share the pictures anyway.  And since J. the dog made some of the pictures I might as well tell her excitement from a few nights ago,

A bit of trauma in our home tonight...I opened the door to let the dog in, but I could see she was carrying something. I jumped on the couch and maintained my position when M. said it was a mouse. However when he said it was a bunny I ran to my room where I shouted directions and demanded he take care of it. I bet M's friend spending the night thinks I should be committed! Nothing like this has happened since L's soccer coach's wife  rescued me from the bird that flew in the house.

Ok, I guess that was my excitement and not hers! (I just used what I put on Facebook and changed the name I had tagged.)

Anyway, I'm so very thankful for my backyard!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Flashback Revisted

I was re-reading my blog (I do that!) and noticed I used a lot of Kentucky pictures for Flashback.  We only lived in Kentucky for 11 months!

We lived in Albuquerque when M was 4-6 and L was 2-4.  M came in while I was looking through these pictures.  He said "That was my favorite house!"  That's interesting, of the three houses he actually remembers, it was the smallest.  However, Hubby and I might just say the same thing!  It didn't have anything to do with the size of the house though, it had everything to do with how much we thoroughly enjoyed this age of the boys and spent so much time with friends and neighbors (well neighbors were friends too). (A side note, it was a neighbor in ABQ who got Hubby connected to his current line of work).

We had a place in that modest home where many friends gathered, dinners were made, treats were mixed (or munched), birthdays were celebrated and casserole dishes were stored. Our kitchen island......

July 2003

2003 - Do you like my choice of birthday candle?

This was pretty tame compared to what the four of these guys were normally doing!

No comment

2004 - I need to fire the photographer for taking that picture towards a window!

2004 - A great place to pose with artwork...

5th Birthday - Birthday parties for M when he was young were so easy!  He liked so many things!

Even a birthday party for a neighbor! (The adult - not sure why he only got four candles! It may have been all I had!)

Snickerdoodles!  This was the only 2005 island picture I could find.
We still have this apron.  My five year old friend used it Friday when he helped me wash  and cut fruit!

Do you have a favorite?  I couldn't decide!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Bucket List

In two days we will have been out of school for exactly a month.  So better late than never?  I've been talking about this list for a while now, the boys ask "Where is this list?" and I tell them it's all in my brain...

1.  Sleep in...a lot!
2.  Go to a drive-in
3.  Read a book with paper pages
4.  Flint Creek with friends from school
5.  A conference or two
6.  Sell our house
7.  Pick blueberries and blackberries
8.  Pick other fruit too
9.  Fly a kite on the beach
10.  See the wild horses
11.  Snuggle with my niece
12.  Go to a museum (or two)
13.  Eat breakfast at the donut shop
14.  Connect/Catch up with friends
15.  Do something with my blog
16.  Restart my gratitude journal
17.  See fireworks
18.  Make something homemade
19.  Finally go to the Flying Pig
20.  Celebrate our wedding anniversary

I decided this was my list, that the boys are old enough to do their own if they want.  However, I was happy to have L. with me at the berry farm today.  Then M - has become our leader in getting the house "show ready".  The other day he wouldn't even let me leave my socks in living room floor when we left the house for some errands.

Which ones are done?  The ones in italics.  Wow, I thought I had done more than that.  Never fear, as soon as we return from vacation a large portion will be accomplished.  Actually, the best part of summer so far has been no pressure to accomplish anything!

By the way, I'm not late at all on this list.  Today is the first day of summer.  Happy Summer!